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Titanium Robotics Just Can’t Stop Winning

Titanium Robotics’ robot Galac[Ti]c during the regional competition that was held last weekend in Nampa, Idaho.

Team 1160 Titanium Robotics’ 2019 season is now officially in the books after its best performance ever at the Idaho Regional. The team left Wednesday, March 27 and returned Sunday, March 31 for three days of fierce competition in Nampa, Idaho.

This year’s game was Destination: Deep Space, which consists of three main scoring components. The two main scoring possibilities are through the three-level tall rocket ship and the flat but wide cargo ship. To “complete” a ship, alliances of three teams must add hatch panels before depositing “cargo” balls in order to gain points. Teams can also develop a climbing mechanism that can return them to the “habitat” near the end of the game to earn points for completing a climb. The first 15 seconds of the 2 minute 45 second match is called the “Sandstorm” period where driver vision is completely blocked, meaning that robots can only be controlled through autonomous code or vision systems. The alliance that earns the most points wins the match and will increase their overall ranking within the competition, which is needed to secure a coveted elimination round spot that could potentially qualify a team for the World Championship.

The first official day of competition, March 28, was the crucial practice day when team members were able to become accustomed to the Idaho environment while introducing themselves to the other teams. March 29 was the start of the 57 total qualification matches, allowing Titanium Robotics to assert itself as a top offensive threat in Destination: Deep Space. By the end of qualification matches on March 30th, Titanium Robotics was selected as the first pick by the 4th seed alliance, the strongest initial elimination match placing the team has ever attained. The overall strength of the 4th seed alliance allowed Titanium Robotics to win in quarterfinals with a clean 2-0 victory over the 5th seed alliance, leaving the team to face the 1st seed in semifinals. During the first match of semifinals, the lift mechanism suddenly broke, disabling a major component of Titanium Robotics’ strategy. Despite this setback, team members pulled together and fixed Galac[Ti]c in just eight minutes, allowing Titanium Robotics to fight in a close second match that resulted in a 2-0 loss in semifinals. This competitive triumph over teams coming from Florida, Illinois, and California highlights the strength of Titanium Robotics as a student-led organization with the perseverance capable of overcoming insurmountable odds.

The victories do not end there because Titanium Robotics was awarded with the Entrepreneurship Award, which celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit by recognizing a team that has developed a comprehensive business plan in order to define, manage, and achieve the team’s ongoing objectives. Moreover, Business Vice President Madeline Haddad was a Dean’s List semifinalist while Business President Kimia Hassibi was nominated to attend the world competition as a Dean’s List finalist. The Dean’s List award is meant to celebrate the dedication of individual members to the values of FIRST Robotics.

In reflection of the team’s performance, mentor and alumni Kyle Weng asserts that this year, Titanium Robotics was a “major threat in elimination matches,” the strongest in five years in fact.

After returning home, head mentor Mr. Scott Barton writes, “I am very proud of the team, not only for their performance on the field with Galac[Ti]c, but also in how they carried themselves off the field. I received many compliments and accolades from the Idaho Regional Planning Committee about how nice, helpful, considerate and fun our team members were. They certainly represented the team, SMHS, and the San Marino Community extremely well.”

Overall, the Idaho Regional is Titanium Robotics’ strongest performance in team history because it showcased the successes of engineering, business, and individuals.

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